Our gut reacts differently to foreign invaders than the rest of our body, mostly due to its primary function as an energy source. If our stomach responded to different substances in the same way the rest of our body reacts to them, our immune system would be under constant duress.
That being said, the immune system can malfunction sometimes and is known to cause a few issues related to our digestive tract. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis or celiac are a common outcome when this happens. Both of these cause excruciating pain in the person that contracts it. This also increases both the chances for malnutrition as well as the chance for developing colon cancer.
For those looking to treat or alleviate some of the symptoms using alternative medicine, there are two popular methods.
Treating Stomach Issues with Cannabis
During the 1980s, while scientists while scientists were trying to discover why our brains had Cannabinoid receptors and how Cannabinoid chemicals affect them, they found anandamide. Contrary to popular belief, those sensors were not developed so that people can get high. They had a higher purpose. Anandamide has the mission of expediting the healing response in humans. Again, the biggest issue here is the fact that the study was conducted on mice and not humans. That being said, the finding coincides with what is already known about marijuana’s calming effects on people that have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Another study in 2017 conducted by a team of scientists further noticed that the body has its way of remedying stomach issues. When testing the effects on mice, their bodies created anandamide which calmed the digestive tract’s immune system when it became inflamed. A very similar compound can also be found in marijuana, which leads scientists to believe that they might be able to create a cure for ulcerative colitis.
So, if you happen to live in a state where marijuana has been legalized, you might want to try using it as a cure for issues related to your stomach.
Treating Stomach Issues with Hot Peppers
Scientist Pramod Srivastava noticed in one of his studies that when immune cells are put in conditions of extreme heat, they begin to work at an increased rate. The study even suggested that the immune cells work better and are more effective in these conditions. This is precisely what occurs when a human body is affected by a fever. The issue is that Srivastava could not determine why the cells react to the change in temperature, but he suspects it’s all related to how we react to warm or hot objects around us.
There are calcium cells that react when we are exposed to high temperatures. This is why we have that immediate impulse to pull out our hand from a hot stove. These same calcium cells help the immune cells determine the temperature around them.
This is where scientists began to wonder whether capsaicin, an active ingredient found in hot peppers, had the same effect. It did. Immune cells that came into contact with the chemical acted just like they would if they were exposed to high temperatures.
The issue is that capsaicin does not come into contact with our immune cells directly. Using mice, the scientists were able to test this reaction to mimic the response in humans. They used mice with Type 1 Diabetes, and the expected result was that diabetes should develop more. What happened is the opposite. The mice that were fed the capsaicin stopped being diabetic.
There are very few people on this planet who enjoy their work more than Aner Banner. His friends often readily admit that Aner eats, sleeps, and breaths science 24 hours a day. He is always challenging old methods, proposing new ideas, and seeking to solve difficult problems. Aner spends most of the day imparting his wisdom to the young minds of a small elementary school. Thankfully he has also mastered the art of making science come alive for the future leaders of our nation. He is loved and well respected by students, parents, and faculty alike. His motto forever remains “never stop learning.